I wrote a love letter to my body. It was an exercise that came up in a book about gut health and I literally laughed out loud and said to myself “LLAAAAME” when I first read it. I was about to move on to the next chapter without completing the task when I thought ‘stuff it’ I’ve committed to reading this book (a feat for me on its own) I might as well commit fully to what I’m trying to get out of it.
So I began writing, and whoah. I signed off the letter with actual tears in my eyes and realised in a light bulb moment that this is precisely what I needed to do in order to move into 2018 with a new perspective on my body and my goals.
Let me circle back for a sec to explain why I’m reading about the gut.
After having almost completely cut meat and dairy from my diet this year I feel great, my immune system is the strongest it’s ever been, and I’m moving forward in leaps and bounds toward having a happy, chemical free body. BUT, while I’ve had all of this incredible growth this year there’s been an underlying feeling of dissatisfaction with my body – I’ve been struggling to kick some pesky chub despite moving to a mostly plant based diet (totally NOT the reason I quit meat either fyi), but most dishearteningly I’ve been fighting with with my skin.
See, at the time of coming back from India last year I made a big decision to come off the pill, after 12 years. I KNOW that this is a good choice for my body (and obvs a necessary one if hubs and I want to have kids) but it’s a decision that has come with a lot of baggage…
I haven’t had a great relationship with my skin, or my body ever (which I know a lot of women can relate to) and so coming off the pill has left me feeling vulnerable to old insecurities about having bad skin. The reality is, while I’ve felt like I am making huge ground toward my wellness vision I’ve felt like my outside doesn’t reflect my inside… i.e. I FEEL fantastic but I don’t feel like I LOOK fantastic.
So, I made a decision to invest in learning more about Ayurvedic knowledge on the underlying causes for imbalance and it was a google search that lead me to this book – Happy Belly: A Woman’s guide to feeling vibrant, light, and balanced. It’s a great read which delves into how the gut is really at the core of health & wellness and how we’re so caught up in a new normal with food & diet that we’re causing real strain on the gut, and compromising both physical & mental health in the process. I’ve highlighted loads of passages within the book but the biggest takeaway of all has, to my surprise, been The Letter.
So I thought I’d share it.
A love letter to my body…
Thank you for carrying me through every day.
Thank you for keeping me safe, and well. Thank you for walking me around the world to experience all that life has to offer, and for showing me how truly lucky I am.
Thank you for warning me when things don’t feel right. Your instincts are the bomb.
Thank you for embracing this wellbeing journey with me. For stepping into unchartered territory so we can grow together and move forward into a future filled with better health. And, thank you for continuing to heal me when all I’ve ever done is put you down, bully you, and treat you with cruelty.
I’m sorry for not hearing you, not trusting you, and failing to give you what you need. For subjecting you to sleepless nights, and poor choices. For expecting so much from you without ever giving you reason to keep going.
You give me life and continue to reward me with new days, and new opportunities to evolve. You’re forgiving and complex, and fascinating, and I promise from this day forward to begin giving you respect for supporting me always.
You’ve been with me from the start, and you deserve to be nurtured, not unloved.
Bod, I love you.
At 31 years of age, I’ve finally come to the realisation that my body isn’t actually trying to sabotage me it’s trying to COMMUNICATE with me, and I’m fascinated.
As I dig deeper and deeper into the world of Ayurveda I’m learning more about BALANCE. I’m learning about my unique constitution, toxin accumulation, how to read the bodies signals, and how to heal from the inside out.
The moral of the story? Moving to a mostly plant based diet is not the do-all and end-all of health and nor is cutting chemicals out of my regime. Of course I’m confident that these decisions are hugely beneficial to my overall wellness for the future and a big step toward simplification, but if there’s still issues, then there’s still issues.
Ultimately I’m realising this is my story. Hence, comparisons are useless. I could sit around being cranky at my body, looking at others and playing copy cat, or wondering why I’m making good choices but not seeing all the results… but that’s a tired old storyline. It’s time to start a new book – and it’s a choose your own freakin’ ending.
I am entirely unique, and my body is trying to tell me something.
There’s imbalance I’ve inherited, imbalance that’s been self inflicted, and imbalance I’ve accumulated environmentally over the past 31 years. There’s work to do (no doubt there always will be) but I realise that without even being conscious of it I’ve been ignoring every single indication my body has given me that it’s out of alignment and wrongfully blaming it. I’ve been ever focused on the symptom rather than the root cause – and it’s time to be proactive.
I’m excited to delve deeper, excited for 2018, excited to stand up and take ownership of my mistakes and excited for expansion, and knowledge, and progress. Ima get to the bottom of it, holistically…
Hey Bod, I’m finally f*cking listening!